I am fortunate in having orange trees in my back yard, mature trees that produce the sweetest, juiciest oranges you'll ever taste.
In season it is pure joy to pick oranges and juice them. I have a juicer that squeezes the last drop of juice from the fruit.
I thought of those trees as I drove home tonight from dinner along a route I have traveled hundreds of times. I was nearly at home when I realized I hadn't paid strict attention to my driving. Oh, I was aware of other vehicles
and traffic signals but I was on auto-pilot, not experiencing the joy of driving and the miracle of a machine that transports me from place to place.
Then I thought of our eating and how much of it is just as mindless. We get done with our meal and wonder how it is that we have finished eating so soon.
What do these examples have to do with the orange trees?
Just this -- whether driving, eating, answering emails
, working, gardening or other of our life's activities, how often do we do act while on auto-pilot, completing our tasks but not really taking joy in doing them?
Imagine changing our attitudes so we focus, really focus, on all the aspects of what we are doing?
Imagine, for example, watching a movie on TV while focusing on the actors, listening intently to their dialogue, watching their facial expressions, paying attention to their costumes and the props they use.
Or reading a book
without background music or other distractions and concentrating on picturing the scenes read -- the buildings, the clothes and personality quirks of the story's characters.
Try this for one day: Whatever you do, enjoy being able to do every aspect of it. If you leave the house, appreciate being able to walk, to turn a door knob, to be able to see the clouds and feel the breeze, to be able to carry a bag of trash to the curb, etc.
If you are at work, enjoy every task assigned to you. Appreciate being employed and contributing to your company's financial health by what you do.
If you stop for groceries on the way home, enjoy watching other shoppers, smell the aromas from the bakery and the deli, appreciate the inventor of the shopping cart and the farmers who supplied all the items you have to choose from. Enjoy talking to the cashier and the bagger.
When you eat, turn off the TV and the computer and taste each bite
. Let the texture of the food linger on your tongue. Enjoy the way different foods have different smells, appearances and taste.
You get the picture. The intent is to squeeze every ounce of joy from everything you do for just one day. You may find pleasure you have never before experienced because you were mindlessly going through the motions on auto-pilot.
In other words, squeeze the life out of your life!